Starting Out

by John Stanton

As runners, we all have to start somewhere. If you’re a beginner, your early experiences with a running or walking program can make or break your chances for success. Novice runners who approach their training with a “go hard or go home” attitude often experience overuse injuries or just plain discouragement. This is not the recommended way to begin a running program.

As with all fitness programs, start with a visit to your family physician. He or she may recommend that you start by walking or by following a combination walk/run program. Be patient and stick with it—in as little as 10 weeks, you can progress from couch potato to athlete. Just remember to commit to 10 weeks, not 10 minutes or 10 days. The lifelong benefits are well worth the investment. Continue reading “Starting Out”

Love on a Hill

by Dr. Sunny Leong

Who knew that I would meet my future spouse at a random Running Room hill training session on an August evening in 2014? I had never been much of a runner but I was getting ready to run my first half marathon in Edmonton. Misaki, on the other hand, was a running machine; she had run in 15 or more marathons before we met and had embraced running as a way to balance the rigours of graduate school. Continue reading “Love on a Hill”

Taking Stock

by Don Zabloski

The start of a new year naturally leads to reflecting on past accomplishments and setting goals for the year ahead. As a family, it can be a good time to celebrate things that are going well—and possibly press the “reset” button to correct any habits that may have slipped. For example, are all family members making a consistent effort be active and healthy? And, does everyone understand why it’s important to make that commitment?

As with all things, parents need to model positive behaviours and attitudes about healthy and active living. Of course, you have to take care of yourself before you can expect to take care of others. What will you do—or what are you already doing—to renew your physical and mental health? Continue reading “Taking Stock”

A Multi-Goal Approach to Training

by John Stanton

To get the most out of your training, you should set an ultimate goal followed by several smaller goals to get you there. Your ultimate goal might be to run a particular race, but before that, you must first train consistently.

It can help to run some smaller, shorter-distance races as targets to test you along the way. Many runners will tell you that the real reward comes from the training, not the race itself. Continue reading “A Multi-Goal Approach to Training”

Cross Training for Runners

by Sandy LeBlanc

I have yet to meet a symmetrical person. We’re all a little wonky, either due to structural differences like leg length discrepancy or scoliosis, and/or habitual imbalances such as playing a single sided sport, handedness or poor posture. For most people, these imbalances don’t affect quality of life—until you add a highly repetitive, sagittal plane sport such as long distance running. The good news is: we can fix many of these imbalances with strategic strength and flexibility training. Continue reading “Cross Training for Runners”

Group Profile / Markham, ON

by James Hodgins

I recently turned 70, so I asked five fellow 70+ runners why they’re running and what advice they’d give to those taking up the sport.

“Running is a sport for all ages,” Jack Kearns explained. “It doesn’t matter how fast or slow—you’re still being active.”

Jack’s words echo those of Miranda Esmonde-White, author of the New York Times bestseller Aging Backwards. The former Canadian ballet dancer believes by regularly exercising all of our 650 muscles, we are actively reversing the aging process. To quote another book, Born to Run by Chris McDougall: “You don’t stop running because you get old—you get old because you stop running.” Continue reading “Group Profile / Markham, ON”

“I Will if You Will!”

by Niki Fitzgerald

Only a few years ago, I remember my friend Susan telling me that she was working towards her first 5K race by running on her treadmill.  After sharing all my reasons for running outside, she confided that she preferred running at home so no one would have to see her run.

I thought she was progressing well, so I encouraged her to register for an earlier goal race, which eventually (after some cajoling) she did. This unleashed a racing beast! She loved it so much that she signed up for several more races that summer. Continue reading ““I Will if You Will!””

The Science of Injury Prevention

with Dr. Reed Ferber, Ph.D. CAT(C)

I’m always happy to see injury prevention research being published, and I thought I’d synthesize some of the more recent findings into practical tips for you.

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to figure out the best injury prevention strategies. Twenty-five different research studies were selected, which  resulted in the analysis of 26,610 athletes who sustained 3464 injuries. A surprising discovery in the data was that stretching did not show any protective effect, regardless of whether the stretching was performed before or after exercise. On the other hand, strength training was protective and reduced sports injuries by about one-third. These authors went further and suggested that overuse injuries, such as those experienced by runners, could be reduced by almost half if a regular strength training program was combined with some type of cross-training. Continue reading “The Science of Injury Prevention”

Race Giving

by Courtney Jolliffe

Race: Kathy’s Run for Pancreatic Cancer
Funds raised in 2018: $50,000.00
Funds raised to date: $800,000.00

Kathy’s Run has become one of the largest runs in Canada dedicated solely to raising funds for pancreatic cancer research. During the last weekend of October, hundreds of racers came out in Calgary and Edmonton wearing their best purple outfits to take on a 5K, 10K or 21K and raise much-needed funds to support life-saving research for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. Continue reading “Race Giving”